It did happen! We were on our way home from Dallas, Texas on Aug. 14 and the Lord spoke to me to read the book of Amos in the Old Testament and write down all the words he gave me out of each chapter. The first word I read was earthquake. Earthquake was in the first chapter and the first verse.
An earthquake in Elkins is almost unheard of. Where were you when it happened at 1:55 p.m. on Aug. 23? I was on the second floor at Davis Memorial Hospital doing rounds as the chaplain of the day. There were some men working on the parking lot at the hospital and I went down and asked them if they hit something that caused the hospital to shake. Of course they said no.
When the shaking began all the nurses, doctors and workers came out into the halls. We were all shaken up and asking what had happened.
As I have gone back over my notes from that day, I was reading the book of Amos. I began to see some things that could be a pattern. I really believe God is speaking loud and clear to us. Basically, because he loves us and wants to get our attention.
It's amazing that two weeks ago the Office of Emergency Management here in Elkins had a seven county drill to prepare us for a disaster. I wonder how many really took the drill seriously?
On Sept. 13 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., OEM is having a meeting to teach pastors how to inform their church members as to what to do if we have an emergency in our area. It will be at the First United Methodist Church and all the pastors in the region are invited to come and bring their staff. People may RSVP to 304-637-2331.
Now back to the book of Amos and what God showed me.
But first, I would encourage you to read the book of Amos and see what the Lord shows you. Amos' name means burden bearer and he was a prophet, but he said he was just a sheepherder. The book of Amos is basically a book of judgment. Some of the key words that stuck out to me in the nine chapters were, earthquake, judgment, fire, drought, tumult, poor oppressed, God's name defiled, justice and righteousness. Righteousness is the quality of life demonstrated by those who live up to the established norms in a relationship. Justice is the judicial process of determining who is right in a court of law.
Hear the word, because we as Christians are held to a higher standard because we are grafted in through Jesus and held accountable as Israel is. God reveals his secret plans to his servants, the Prophets (Amos 3:7). Withheld rain - look at Texas and other parts of the country. Natural disasters used by God to awaken the people to their sins, but they were not successful.
God gave Amos five visions. The first two were locust and fire. Amos asked God to forgive and relent from these two, and he did. The third vision was the plumb-line. It means the time of forgiveness is over - judgment is approaching. The fourth vision was the basket of summer fruit. The Day of the Lord (Obadiah 15) has come, which means death and destruction in all areas, such as earthquakes, mourning, famine and hearing the words of the Lord through the prophets.
The fifth vision is the Lord standing by the altar and no one escapes, remnant, shaking, a time in the history of mankind when God directly intervenes to bring salvation to his people, the Jews, and punishment to the rebellious Israel will never be destroyed again (Amos 9:11-15).
I believe God is speaking loud and clear with signs, wonders and miracles. This is a time for all of us to search our hearts and ask the Lord if anything needs to be corrected in us.
(The opinions of this article are those of the author and not necessarily those of The Inter-Mountain, the Randolph County Ministerial Association or the author's church affiliation.)